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Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Selects 11 Renewable Energy Projects

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a ratepayer fund administered by Connecticut Innovations Inc (CI), a quasi-public state authority, has screened and selected 11 renewable energy projects to forward to the state's two electric distribution companies, the Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and the United Illuminating Company (UI), under Round 2 of Project 100. These electric distribution companies will review CCEF's recommendations and perform additional analyses leading to their selection of projects to receive long-term power purchase agreements. This was the second round of projects selected through Project 100, an innovative program created by the Connecticut General Assembly to develop not less than 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generation for the benefit of all Connecticut consumers. Round 1 of Project 100 resulted in the electric distribution companies negotiating a long-term power purchase contract representing approximately 15 MW of new renewable generation.

The groundbreaking legislation that launched Project 100 was created because large renewable energy projects are difficult to finance without long-term contracts. Under the 2003 state energy act, Connecticut's two major utilities are required to enter into long-term power purchase agreements with developers to purchase not less than 100 MW of Class I renewable energy. In the implementation process, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund is charged with issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) from developers and the initial screening and analysis to select projects that will benefit all Connecticut consumers. After the selection process, the best projects are forwarded to CL&P and UI for further review and contract negotiation. Those given the "green light" through long-term contracts also receive funding from CCEF.

CCEF implemented a thorough, 4-step review process to vet the projects submitted. Projects were first assessed and scored by the Evaluation Working Group, consisting of three external renewable-energy consultants and one CCEF staff member. Working Group members scored projects based on cost to ratepayers, benefit to ratepayers, feasibility and financial viability. Projects, along with their assessments and scores, were then reviewed by the 6-member Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Development Authority, Energy & Environmental Ventures and Clean Energy Advisory Committee. Projects on a "short list" identified by this committee were then evaluated by the Clean Energy Advisory Committee of Connecticut Innovations, with a final review and authorization of funding rendered by the Clean Energy Investment Committee of Connecticut Innovations.

The following projects representing a diversity of fuel sources and technologies were selected to be recommended to the electric distribution companies under the Round 2 competition:
  • A 7.9 megawatt fuel cell/turbo expander project by FuelCell Energy and Enbridge Inc. in Milford, Conn.
  • A 29.9 megawatt landfill gas project by EMCOR Energy Services in South Norwalk, Conn.
  • A 30 megawatt biomass project by NuPower, LLC, and Decker Energy International Inc. in Plainfield, Conn.
  • A 19.6 megawatt fuel cell project by Elemental Power Group in Danbury, Conn.
  • A 4.6 megawatt fuel cell project by EMCOR Energy Services in Stamford, Conn.
  • A 3 megawatt biomass project by Clearview Power, LLC, in East Canaan, Conn.
  • A 2.3 megawatt fuel cell project by EMCOR Energy Services in Waterbury, Conn.
  • A 19.6 megawatt fuel cell project by Elemental Power Group in Bridgeport, Conn.
  • A 13.7 megawatt fuel cell project by FuelCell Energy, Pure Power, LLC, and Pinpoint Power, LLC, in Bridgeport, Conn.
  • A 1 megawatt fuel cell project by UTC Power, LLC, in Wallingford, Conn.
  • A 27.8 megawatt biomass project by Clearview Power, LLC, in Bozrah, Conn.
"We were extremely pleased with the quality of the projects that were submitted to CCEF for consideration under the Round 2 competition," said Timothy Bowles, chair of the Connecticut Clean Energy Advisory Committee. "It was a challenge to narrow down the field to the eleven that we selected, and it is our hope that the utilities will move forward with long-term contracts with all of these projects." Bowles added, "If all eleven projects are indeed launched, Connecticut's citizens will benefit from the implementation of clean electricity generation on a significant scale."

Jerome Peters, chair of the Project 100 Steering Committee said, "It is encouraging to see the high level of innovation and excitement within the growing clean energy community in the state. I am confident that our thorough and objective vetting process allowed us to identify those projects that have the potential to provide the greatest level of fuel and technological diversity while minimizing the cost to Connecticut's ratepayers." Peters continued, "The companies that proposed these projects are a great asset to the state, advancing an industry vital to our economy, our environment and our quality of life in Connecticut."

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